I personally love to have a houseplant on my office desk. Who doesn’t? Apart from its aesthetic benefits, houseplants can actually purify air. African mask plant is one such indoor plant that is known for its appealing foliage.
Depending on their growth there are different types of African mask plant. In this write-up though I mention about Alocasia polly plant care, you can adopt same for other alocasia species.
Before you proceed further, I think it’s fair to know about kris plant (alocasia plant) in more detail. Else, you can just jump to African mask plant care here.
Alocasia Indoor Plant
You’ll be glad to know that Royal Horticultural Society awared Alocasia hybrid Amazonia with Award of Garden Merit. (wikipedia)
Renowned for its wide dark heart shaped leaves, alocasia is in great demand for decorating modern homes.
With its unique foliage and bold shape this houseplant will certainly catch eye balls of those who visit your house.
- Uses: As mentioned it is extensively used to decorate desk or living room.
- Size: Alocasia plant can grow upto 4-6’, with its foliage it looks gorgeous.
- Growth: With right amount of humidity and light these plants can outgrow its space. Growth rate of alocasia plant comes down in winter. Spring and summer are favorable season for this houseplant.
How to Care for African Mask Plant?
#1 Exposure to sunlight
This gorgeous looking plant can lose its beauty if you don’t pay attention to it. Like any other plant alocasia need natural light for rapid growth.
Placing this houseplant in dark places will not go well this alocasia. However, medium or moderate sunlight is fine to get dark green foliage.
With climate change you must change the position of the African mask plant, because winter and dark places aren’t favorable for this plant growth.
#2 Watering and Feeding
Gardening experts recommend starting watering after sprouts appear. Keeping the soil moist is essential in summer. But, avoid over watering it. Excess watering may attract weed and pests.
Liquid fertilizers directly impact the size, color and beauty of African mask plant. After couple of months you can start feeding liquid fertilizers. You can check dosage instruction on the pack.
Your plant gets essential minerals and nutrients from the soil. It also protects the plant from erosion and hold water moisture.
For African mask plant it’s recommended that you mix 2 parts of African violet mix with 1 part of perlite.
It’s a tropical plant, with high humidity it can easily out grow its space with its big dark leaves.
With right amount of humidity you can control spider mites.
#5 How to Repot African Mask Plant?
Avoid unnecessary repotting if your plant fits the container/pot. As mentioned above, this houseplant loves exposure to light so it’s recommended to carry the transplant in spring.
Why it’s important to repot?
With small container and poor soil, no houseplant can grow on rapid rate. It kills the growth rate.
As the plant needs you must transplant it. While repotting make sure you mix organic fertilizers to the soil to increase the growth.
Note: Winter isn’t the best time to repot or transplant a houseplant.
#6 How to Propagate African Mask Plant?
Through division root stock you can easily propagate African mask plant. There are different ways though like suckers or tissue culture.
Spring and summer (warmer months) are best for propagating this houseplant.
Many gardeners recommend division method to propagate the alocasia plant. I’d love to know which method you prefer for your houseplant.
#7 Grooming or Pruning
Pruning is essential to instigate plant growth. In case of African mask plant you must trim dried or weak leaves, because it will ruin aesthetic appearance of your house.
While watering you must make sure you clean the leaves regularly. Before cutting, see that your pruners are clean.
#8 How to Control Pests?
Aphids also know as black bugs, spider mites and scale are few pests that can damage the foliage. You must keep an eye on it and stop them with natural pesticides.
White tiny pests can be seen under the leaves and hiding between the nodes.
Important: Safety for Pets
Most houseplants aren’t safe for pets or children, they are toxic. According to ASPCA site, swelling of lips, mouth and tongue are clinical signs of toxic plants.
To protect your dogs and cats from plants, place the houseplant out of reach.
Also, pick fallen leaves and throw out far from your living space.
While you’re away, avoid pets from going near the houseplants by confining them. Check more info here.
Remember these 3 things if you want to take care of your African mask plant.
This houseplant needs high humidity, bright light and enough water to grow big.
It can tricky to take care of this plant, but it’s well worth. Because of its aesthetic appearance and elephant ear leaves alocasia plant is in great demand.
You must give it a try.